Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of CAMBA Gardens Phase II, a $100 million affordable, supportive, and sustainable housing development in the Wingate section of Brooklyn. Built on the grounds of King's County Hospital by CAMBA Housing Ventures, the new development is a national model for co-locating housing and healthcare, providing 293 apartments with 182 set aside for formerly homeless families and individuals.
"Safe, decent affordable housing combined with supportive services is key to winning our fight against homelessness," Governor Cuomo said. "CAMBA Gardens II is a prime example of how we can provide our most vulnerable New Yorkers the opportunity to move forward and upward with their lives by living independently in a compassionate community that takes their interests and goals to heart, building a better New York for all."
The Governor's commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the State's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building and preserving 112,000 units of affordable housing, including 6,000 of supportive housing. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multifamily and single-family housing, community development, and rent stabilization.
CGII is a continuation of the successful CAMBA Gardens Phase I, completed in October 2013, which created an innovative partnership among a public hospital, nonprofit community developer, social service provider, and community stakeholders to redevelop underused hospital property into much-needed supportive and affordable housing. Recently awarded the 2018 "Excellence in Affordable Housing Development" by the Urban Land Institute New York, CGI and CGII provide a total of 502 homes for low-income New Yorkers and those in need of supportive services.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "CAMBA Gardens Phase II is a prime example of how Governor Cuomo is fighting homelessness by pulling together resources to create affordable housing with wrap-around supportive and healthcare services. As we deliver the Governor's housing plan, it is projects like this that revitalize our communities, create opportunity and grow our economy."
Situated on the campus of NYC Health + Hospitals' Kings County Campus, CGII's 293 apartments are a mix of studio, one, two, and three-bedroom unit, with 110 set aside for residents making no more than 60 percent of the area median income and 182 for formerly homeless families and individuals. CGII features a 5-, 7- and 9-story stepped design to complement the surrounding community. CAMBA on-site social services staff will work with Kings County Hospital Center to coordinate and streamline medical and mental health care for tenants. Social services, which are available to all tenants, include case management, supportive counseling, coordination of health care and education, nutrition and fitness classes, recreational/family activities, and computer training.
Co-locating housing on the Kings County campus allows residents easy access to healthcare and mental health counseling. CAMBA Inc.'s on-site staff works with all residents to develop customized service plans for independent living skills training, financial literacy, job readiness, substance abuse, and group social, cultural, and sporting events.
CGII achieves NYSERDA, Enterprise Green Communities, and LEED Gold standards, featuring Energy Star appliances and lighting to reduce utility costs; healthy indoor air quality; high-efficiency building systems; low/non-toxic finishes; bike parking on site; high efficiency flow showers, sinks, and toilets for water conservation; and day-lit common areas and energy-efficient windows.
All apartments feature full kitchens and baths, durable and non-toxic finishes, ceiling fans and air-conditioning, wood flooring, solid surface countertops and windowsills, and efficient lighting. Amenities include expansive green space; community gardens for tenants; computer, laundry, and community rooms for civic groups, Community Board meetings, and KCHC hospital meetings; and 24-hour security.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal has provided $18 million in permanent funding for the project in the form of tax exempt bond financing and a Medicaid Redesign Team subsidy loan. In addition, HCR's annual Federal tax credit allocation generated $40.3 million in tax credit equity. Other state financing includes $6 million through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program and $300,000 from NYSERDA. The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York/AHP provided $1.45 million through member bank HSBC. The Brooklyn Borough President and the New York City Council through Councilmember Dr. Mathieu Eugene each provided $1 million in capital allocations. TD Bank provided the Letter of Credit. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development contributed $20.5 million through the Supportive Housing Loan Program. Additionally, CGII received pre-development financing from the Corporation for Supportive Housing and Enterprise Community Loan Fund.
CAMBA's on-site social services are funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health, New York City Human Resources Administration, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Alicia Barton, NYSERDA President and CEO said, "Congratulations to CAMBA for designing and building a housing community that offers a wide-range of health and social services to some of our most vulnerable residents. This development offers an innovative solution that supports the region's sustainability plans and aligns with Governor Cuomo's strategy to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gases throughout New York's housing stock."
Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, "Supportive housing not only provides the stability of having a place to call home, but it also supports people with mental illness while they discover the possibilities of their lives and engage with resources in their own communities. Studies show that individuals with mental illness have better outcomes when they are integrated into their communities, and CAMBA Gardens is helping so many reach their fullest potential."
The Office of Mental Health provided a $917,000 Program Development Grant for startup costs, and gives approximately $1.8 million annually for services and operating funding for 108 supported housing units.
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, "Supportive housing is highly effective in addressing homelessness because in addition to providing a safe, stable place to live, it provides the services required to help individuals overcome the circumstances that may have contributed to them experiencing homelessness. Governor Cuomo embraces this approach and that is why it has remained a key part of his housing plan. CAMBA Gardens Phase II embodies the same approach, providing affordable and supportive housing with an array of much-needed services available on the Kings County campus."
NYS Senator Jesse Hamilton said, "Partnerships across communities, including public institutions, service providers, and community stakeholders, will help us tackle the housing crisis. That is why I join in welcoming the dedication of CAMBA Gardens II today. When we commit to working together, we can incorporate input from the community and meet critical neighborhood needs."
Assemblymember Diana C. Richardson said, "CAMBA Gardens II shows what we can achieve when we work together in the fight against homelessness. I am thankful that we were able to come together and bring resources that make projects like this, a true asset to our community, possible."
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams said, "Expanding affordable housing across Brooklyn is of the utmost importance, particularly as residents face cost of living increases and rising rents. I'm proud to have supported CAMBA on this exciting project with $1 million in FY14 capital investment, which will help deliver much-needed, energy-efficient housing to East Flatbush, an area of the borough that has experienced decades of economic disadvantage. We must continue to increase the amount of affordable housing being developed in every corner of the borough, so that everyone can find a healthy and stable place to call home regardless of their socioeconomic status."
Councilmember Dr. Mathieu Eugene said, "The Grand Opening of CAMBA Gardens Phase II is an important step in our city's commitment to providing housing and social services for members of our underserved community. I believe that all New Yorkers have the right to a stable living environment, and this facility will serve as a tremendous benefit to those who have struggled to secure long term housing. I want to express my gratitude to the many partners who have worked together to make this project a reality, and it is my hope that it will serve as a model for other housing initiatives across the city."
Joanne M. Oplustil, President and CEO, CAMBA/CAMBA Housing Ventures, Inc. said, "With the completion of CAMBA Gardens Phase II, we celebrate the realization of our dream to provide affordable housing, access to services, and quality healthcare all in one place for 293 households. A true public-private partnership, CAMBA Gardens would not be possible without the support of our invaluable partners, including New York State, New York City, HCR, HPD, NYC H+H/Kings County, elected officials and countless others, and we and the residents of CAMBA Gardens thank you."
Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader, Enterprise Community Partners said, "CAMBA Gardens is a true public-private partnership and a model for supportive housing that is green and healthy. Supportive housing is critical to addressing New York City's housing and homelessness crisis, connecting individuals and families to vital services and helping them achieve measurable health outcomes. Enterprise is honored to continue our longtime partnership with CAMBA, which includes providing financing for both phases I and II of CAMBA Gardens and hosting CAMBA as a participant of Enterprise's Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute."
Deborah De Santis, President and CEO of CSH said, "With the opening of CAMBA Gardens II, what started as a vision in 2005 continues to be the source of hope and real solutions for vulnerable New Yorkers in need of supportive housing. Based on a CSH briefing paper we authored back then, CAMBA Housing Ventures seized an opportunity to bring the housing and healthcare sectors together, using Kings County Hospital surplus land to turn the vision into a national model. We are immensely proud of their work and the leadership role they are playing, and consider their projects some of our best investments."